Eskenazi Health pediatrician
With our nation’s health care seemingly always at the forefront of conversation and political wrangling these days, it’s comforting to know there’s one aspect of our system that has made vast improvements in the life of our children and youth.
The Children’s Health Insurance Program is a one-of-a-kind initiative passed with wide bipartisan support and designed to provide insurance coverage to children whose families earn too much to qualify for medical assistance but who could not afford to purchase private insurance.
CHIP programs provide the standard Medicaid benefit package including vision, hearing and developmental screening, along with diagnostic and treatment services, which includes all medically necessary services like mental health and dental services.
Medicaid and CHIP have long served the nation’s most vulnerable populations of low-income children and their parents, individuals with disabilities and low income seniors.
The Affordable Care Act established new coverage pathways, most notably for low-income adults, allowing Medicaid to serve as the solid foundation of coverage for low-income Americans. This coverage expansion, along with eligibility and enrollment simplifications, is contributing to historic declines in the rate of the uninsured in America. As of the first half of 2016, the uninsured rate for all Americans is down to 8.9 percent, the lowest it has ever been.
Furthermore, the insured rate for children is at a historic high of 95 percent, and the uninsured rate has been cut nearly in half since 2008, translating into more than 3 million children gaining coverage as the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2009 and the Affordable Care Act took effect. All groups of children experienced coverage gains in the last decade, and this is a success story for our country.
Medicaid provides health insurance for 564,000 low-income children in Indiana, with children making up 59.1 percent of Indiana’s Medicaid population. In 2014, 153,523 Indiana children were covered by Hoosier Healthwise, our CHIP program. Each Medicaid-eligible child costs Indiana just $2,270 per year, on average, compared to average costs per adult Medicaid enrollee of $5,361.
For more information on CHIP and procedures on how to sign up for coverage, visit https://www.medicaid.gov/chip/chip-program-information.html.
If you are in need of a pediatrician for your child or a primary care physician for yourself, call 317-880-8687 or visit www.eskenazihealth.edu/doctors.